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Love the Tree, Love the Branch: Beijing's Friendship with Lee Kuan Yew, 1954–1965

  • Philip Hsiaopong Liu (a1)

Abstract

Chinese national identity has long been considered to have been an obstacle to Singapore's nation-building efforts. This is mainly because China was suspected of using its ethnic links to encourage Singapore's communist rebellions during the 1950s and 1960s as Lee Kuan Yew was working towards establishing the city state. This study reviews Lee's exchanges with Beijing and argues that he gave China the impression that he was building an anticolonial, pro-China nation. Beijing therefore responded positively to Lee's requests for support. Reiterating its overseas Chinese policy to Lee, Beijing sided with him against his political rivals and even acquiesced in his suppression of Chinese-speaking “communists.” In addition, China boosted Lee's position against Tunku Abdul Rahman, supported Singapore's independence and lobbied Indonesia to recognize the territory as a separate state. China thus actually played a helpful role in Singapore's nation building.

1950与1960 年代李光耀建国时,中国被怀疑藉族群联系影响新加坡共产党暴动,因此中国身份认同也被认为有损新加坡的国家建构。本文检讨李光耀与中国的交往。李光耀使北京相信他正建立一个反殖亲中的国家,因此获得北京积极回应其需求。北京对李光耀重申其海外华人政策,并支持他对付反对派,包括默许李光耀镇压说华语的「共产党」。此外,中国也加强李光耀对抗吉隆坡的地位,支持新加坡独立,包括游说印度尼西亚承认新加坡。因此,中国实际上有助新加坡的国家建构。

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